What is Crop Rotation?
Crop rotation alludes to the cultivation of diverse crops on a specific piece of land over time. The progression of crops to be grown is carefully designed to guarantee soil supplements are sustained, pest populations are controlled, weeds are smothered and soil well-being is built.
A crop rotation will cycle through cash crops (such as vegetables), cover crops (grasses and cereals), and green manures (regularly vegetables). The precise arrangement of crops will shift depending on local circumstances, with the critical plan element being an understanding of what each crop contributes and takes from the soil. For occurrence, nitrogen draining crops ought to be preceded by a nitrogen-fixing crop.
The central idea is to have the crops themselves sustain soil wellbeing, instead of planting the same crop year in, year out, and after then repairing soil health through composts, pesticides, and herbicides.
Types of Crop Rotation
Example- Planting Wheat year after year within the same field. Monocropping is when the field is utilized to develop only one crop season after season.
Example- Planting maize one year, and beans the other. Crop Rotation implies changing the type of crops grown within the field each season or each year (or changing from crops to fallow).
Example- Planting maize within the long downpours, then beans amid the short downpours. Sequential Cropping involves growing two crops within the same field, one after the other within the same year. In a few places, the rainy season is long enough to develop two crops: either two main crops or one main crop followed by a cover crop.
Distribution of the seeds of both the crops or dibbling the seeds without any row arrangement. This process is called mixed intercropping.Planting the most crop in rows and after that spreading the seeds of the intercrop (such as a cover crop).
Benefits of Crop Rotation
A well-outlined crop rotation makes land both more beneficial and more ecologically maintainable. It improves the monetary reasonability of a farm by increasing efficiency while decreasing chemical input costs. Key benefits of crop rotation are:
Improved Soil Fertility
Crop rotation improves the physical and chemical conditions of soil and thus improves the overall fertility. Nitrogen-fixing vegetables such as soybeans and alfalfa in crop rotations settle climatic nitrogen into the soil through root nodules. This nitrogen is then accessible for subsequent crops.
Crop rotation helps to control common root and stem illnesses that affect row crops. Crop revolution is exceedingly viable against maladies whose pathogens have a small host range and require soil or crop residue to overwinter. For such infections, turning a non-host crop instantly after a host crop anticipates the pathogen from reproducing.
Including cover crops into crop rotation systems gives greater competition to the weeds for their essential needs such as supplements, space, and light. Cover crops eventually swarm out the weeds, abating down weed development and expansion for a diminished weed populace in subsequent crops.
Crop rotation helps control the disintegration of soil from water and wind by progressing the soil structure and decreasing the amount of soil that’s exposed to water and wind. Crop rotation too supports reduced or no-till cultivating, which guarantees indeed better protection against erosion.
- Increased Biodiversity
Crop rotation helps progress soil biodiversity by changing crop residue and rooting patterns. Distinctive crops advantage diverse species, and so a range of crops will lead to a more different and healthy soil microbial community. Additionally, the microbial community is backed by rotating crops with a high carbon to nitrogen proportion (such as corn) with low carbon to nitrogen ratio crops (such as soybeans).
Disadvantages of Crop Rotation
Rotating crops can require additional equipment, particularly to a crop. Peanuts, for instance, utilize a diverse harvesting machine than do corn and soybeans, and diverse planters may be required to plant grains like wheat or oats than are utilized for corn, beans, or peanuts.
The market location can moreover be a hindrance to rotating between certain crops. Not each locale has granaries, cotton gins, shelled nut processors, and areas to sell corn, soybeans, or other crops after harvest.
Give lower budgetary returns during certain times
You can’t put your most valuable crops on your greatest fields each year, so you’ll not benefit as much amid periods when you are growing a distinctive sort of product that has a lower market value.
Requires more knowledge and skill
Aside from diverse sorts of apparatus, crop rotationrequires a more profound set of skills and information. This implies agriculturists will need to contribute more time and assets in learning and mastering this agrarian practice.